Arusha, 2 April, 2009 (FH) - The Registrar of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Adama Dieng, has appointed  French national, Pascal Besnier, as Officer in Charge (OIC) of Judicial and Legal Services effective 1 April, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Part of the duties of Besnier, who is also the Chief of Defence Counsels and Detention Management Section (CDCDMS), will be to handle assignments of the former Deputy Registrar, Everard O'Donell, who has stepped down after serving for almost a decade the UN Court ,trying key suspects of 1994 genocide.

The American-British O'Donell joined ICTR as Chief of Chamber Support Section in late 1990's. He became acting Deputy Registrar in 2005 and was confirmed to the post two years later.

According to the ICTR Spokesman, Roland Amoussouga, appointment of Besnier was effective 1 April until further notice.

Besnier is the former member of Paris Bar and was among first defence counsels to take up trials at the ICTR. He was appointed as CDCDMS in November, 2008.

The nomination put an end to an administrative drama which had begun in August 2005, in Arusha, when copy of an alleged private correspondence between Besnier and the ICTR Spokesperson [Amoussouga] had been widely distributed in an anonymous way.

The circulation of the correspondence, which implied that the French lawyer saw himself securing an undue advantage over other candidates, had led the Registrar Dieng to suspend the recruitment I while waiting for results of an investigation entrusted to the specialized services of the headquarters of the UN in New York.

The investigations were concluded in September 2008 with the UN Secretary-General clearing the two men of any conspiracy or wrong doing.


Hirondelle News Agency